Prescribing statins, such as Lipitor, Crestor and other cholesterol lowering medications, has become common over the past few years. There is no question that lowering cholesterol is beneficial to heart health, and many studies have found that statins may help with lowering cholesterol. However, for some patients the side effects of statins can reportedly be extremely dangerous.
In some patients, side effects of statins include muscle aches and pains. According to manufacturers, at least ten percent of all patients who take drugs like Lipitor suffer from muscle aches. However, in some cases, statins caused a type of muscle injury known as myopathy, which causes unexplained muscle weakness or pain. In 2009, a New York woman filed suit against the makers of Lipitor, claiming that she suffered traumatic side effects that left her unable to walk, talk or drive. Initially, it was thought that she had suffered a stroke, although tests proved she had not. During a hospitalization, her doctors took her off Lipitor and her symptoms dramatically improved.
Liver damage is another of the serious side effects of statins. Although the FDA says that the risk of liver damage after taking statins is rare, early clinical trials have found elevated liver enzymes in patients who take statins, including Lipitor. Patients are advised that their doctor should check their liver enzyme levels before beginning statin treatment and periodically while they are taking the drugs. Lawsuits have been filed in several states including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago by patients who suffered liver damage after taking statins.
Increased diabetes risk is another of the serious side effects of statins. Diabetes develops when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin; the body has difficulty converting food into energy and blood sugar levels in the blood rise. Recent studies have shown an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in patients who have taken Lipitor and other types of statins. An article in the New York Times in 2012 reported that when data was collected and analyzed of 91,000 patients in multiple studies, the risk of developing diabetes was one in every 255 patients treated with statins. In addition, the higher the level of statins taken, the higher the risk of developing diabetes became.
Women who are pregnant, nursing or plan to become pregnant should also avoid statins. When a woman is pregnant, her cholesterol level rises, as much as 50 percent during the 18th and 36th week. This is because cholesterol is vital to the development of a baby’s heart, brain and limbs. There have been reports of serious birth defects in infants born to women who took statins while they were pregnant. Notify your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Lipitor or other statins.
One recent study has found that patients with asthma may find that their asthma symptoms worsen when they take cholesterol-lowering medication, surprising some researchers as the anti-inflammatory properties of the drugs were thought to help conditions like asthma. Instead, one of the side effects of statins appears to be a worsening of asthma in some patients. This is the second study to draw a connection between the use of statins and worsening asthma symptoms. A study in Rochester, New York found a significant drop in lung function among patients taking statins who were also diagnosed with asthma.
Injured Due to the Side Effects of Statins?
The side effects of statins, in some cases, may be deadly. If you or a loved one has suffered injury, or if a loved one has died, contact Attorney Group for New York about a possible product liability or wrongful death lawsuit. We can help answer your questions regarding your options, and connect you with an affiliated lawyer who can help with your case. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.